In today’s society, convenience in payments is paramount; consumers expect instant gratification in their shopping experiences. To improve the overall customer experience, merchants have to reduce the length of checkout processes. Omnichannel experiences are increasingly common; many consumers are researching and purchasing across channels. This translates to educated consumers that know what they want and will gravitate to businesses that can provide it the fastest. Whether you’re a brick and mortar store or an online business, this post provides tips to speed up your checkout process.
A frustratingly long lineup may be enough to lose a customer’s business; 86% of consumers will avoid a store if the wait time is too long. Nobody wants to stand in a long lineup if they can avoid it; 88% of customers want a faster experience. Below are tips to expedite the checkout process in your brick and mortar store.
- Use a mobile POS
With a mobile app and/or card reader, you can accept payments from anywhere in the store, reducing wait times, increasing the speed of the payment process, and providing relief when the main checkout lines get too long.
- Have multiple terminals
If you have a larger storefront, consider having multiple terminals throughout your store. More terminals mean more customers being served at the same time, reducing bottlenecks and keeping lines moving quickly and smoothly.
- Offer a variety of payment options
Offering a wide range of payment methods helps speed up your checkout process by allowing customers to quickly pay with their preferred and prepared method.
- Train your employees in EMV
Especially in the U.S. where EMV is still fairly new, consumers may not be aware of how to pay with chip cards; they may take their card out of the terminal before the transaction is complete, holding up the line. Cashiers should be trained to quickly guide shoppers through the new payment process.
- Ensure you have a fast connection speed
A quality, fast Wi-Fi connection can make a world of difference for your transaction speeds, allowing credit card data to transmit more quickly. If your store is already Wi-Fi-enabled, consider upgrading to a faster subscription. A faster connection allows you to process more payments per hour.
- Deploy tap and pay (contactless) payments
Whether using mobile wallets or EMV cards, the number of consumers using the tap-and-pay feature is increasing. Contactless payments are fast, secure, and convenient. This means that having an NFC-enabled terminal will speed up checkout times significantly, ensuring your lineups are short and efficient. Consumers simply tap their phone or chip and PIN card to complete their transaction faster.
A total of $147 billion may be lost by eCommerce businesses due to friction in the checkout experience, resulting in abandoned transactions. For how to craft shopping cart abandonment emails that recover lost sales, check out this post. Below are tips on how to reduce a lengthy online checkout process.
- Use recurring billing
Recurring billing increases your efficiency, streamlines your day-to-day transactions, and saves your customers from providing their credit card details each time. If you have a subscription-based business, you can speed up transactions by automating them. Set it and forget it.
- Employ a live chat option
Having a live chat option is useful and could prevent abandonment in case customers encounter problems during checkout.
- Provide user-friendly order forms
It’s frustrating for customers when they forget to fill out a field on a form or make a mistake and have to fill out the entire form again. This is time-consuming and a major roadblock to completing the transaction. To avoid this, try cashing the collected data to allow a customer to be notified of the specific error made.
- Allow buyers to shop without an account
Requiring consumers to either sign in or create an account in order to make a purchase are unnecessary barriers. Some shoppers may not want to go through the trouble of creating an account; allowing shoppers to make purchases as guests will expedite the checkout process. However, an account would speed up subsequent transactions as they don’t have to fill out the same information for future purchases. At the end of the purchase, ask the buyer if they are interested in creating an account; the point is not to make it mandatory. Try providing a discount to incentivize customers to sign up.
- Automatically pre-fill information for consumers:
A fast checkout process means only asking for essential information. By rearranging the order of the fields, there is information that you can automatically determine, reducing the number of fields they have to fill out.
- Put the zip/area code field first as forms can be set up to automatically fill in the city, state, and country.
- Pre-select the most inexpensive shipping method as the default.
- Rather than ask them for the type of credit card they’re using, implement an algorithm to automatically determine card type by the first few digits of a user’s credit card.
- Instead of asking if a customer is new or returning, automatically look up the user’s email in the database to determine whether they already have an account. If they do, prompt them to log in.
The days where people paid by cash, looking for exact change and holding up the line are long gone. In its place is a system of convenience, led by electronic payment methods like tap and pay and mobile payments. Reducing long checkout processes is essential for improving customer satisfaction, retaining lost customers, and increasing revenue. In addition to the tips mentioned in this post, partnering with a reliable payment processor that equips you with dependable and fast payment tools will streamline your checkout and keep your customers happy.